Liberals don't leave this Stone unturned
His party may be down in the polls, but Kamloops businessman Todd Stone is convinced the B.C. Liberals can turn it around in the 10 months leading up to the next provincial election.
The iCompass Technologies CEO announced on Tuesday, July 10, that he is in the hunt to succeed veteran Kamloops-South Thompson B.C. Liberal MLA Kevin Krueger, who has opted to not seek re-election.
Stone told a crowd of supporters at iCompass' downtown headquarters that he doesn't agree with the characterization of the B.C. Liberals as a sinking ship.
"The polls say we're behind . . . I say not so fast," he said.
"Ten months is a lifetime in politics. The election has not been fought and the NDP has not won anything."
Stone said he wants to work with B.C .Conservative voters in the riding and hopes bring them back into the Liberal fold before election day, May 14, 2013.
"This is a two-horse race — the NDP, or the B.C. Liberal Party," he said.
"We're not going to take anything for granted. We still have a lot of work in front of us, a lot of people to meet, a lot of people to talk to. But, if free-enterprisers stick together, we win in ridings like Kamloops."
Krueger, who was first elected in 1996, announced last month he was quitting politics at the end of his current term in the legislature to spend more time with his family.
He said he's "thrilled" to see Stone seek the Liberal nomination and has in the past suggested Stone "will be premier one day," should he get the party nod.
Stone, a 40-year-old father of three, founded Kamloops-based software company iCompass 14 years ago. The company, which employs 30 people, creates meeting-management and record-keeping software for municipal governments and academic boards.
Stone said his small-business background makes him a good candidate for the Liberal candidacy, as does his time on a number of community boards, including Thompson Rivers University's board of governors and the Thompson-Nicola-Cariboo United Way's board of directors.
Rather than acting as a deterrent, the B.C. Liberal party's struggles are part of what pushed him to run, Stone said.
"It's absolutely the right time to jump in now. People need to decide — are you in or are you out? Either you can stand up for what you believe in or not. I'm not prepared to stand on the sidelines."